Whether employed full-time, part-time or not at all, Israelis get to choose which of a handful or so "Sick Funds" to join. New immigrants are automatically accepted, no matter what their age or health status. When I had brought my very elderly father here three and a half years ago, I had no problem integrating him into the local clinic of the Clallit Sick Fund. The doctor and nurse invested time to discover which Israeli medicines matched those American ones he had been taking. In some cases the Israeli equivalents seemed much better. We paid extra so he'd be covered for more than the minimum, which came in handy when he needed new hearing aids, which we purchased at a discount.
Not long ago, when the doctor prescribed acupuncture for my shoulder injury, it was discounted by the Kupat Cholim Le'umit sick fund, because we pay for the "gold" level. Various "over the counter" drugs are discounted for us, too, in the sick fund pharmacies.
The Nefesh B'Nefesh site has a good summary of Israeli health care.
Every resident can choose one of the four health plans (Clalit, Leumit, Maccabi and Meuhedet) regardless of age or health state. The plans provide an identical basic basket of services, as required by law, but availability of services may differ by location. These include doctor visits, diagnostic and laboratory services, hospitalization including births and discounts on prescription medications. Note that not every type of service, treatment or prescription is available in the basket. It is possible to purchase supplementary insurance (Bituach Mashlim) from your health plan in order to receive wider coverage. Differences between the plans may exist in these supplementary insurances. See Kupot Cholim (Health Plans). (complete article)
The government makes changes annually. Here is the latest:
The Cabinet today (Sunday, 30 December 2012), unanimously approved an approximately NIS 300 million expansion of the health basket, pursuant to the proposal of Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman. The expansion will take effect at the beginning of next month.Of course, there are sometimes difficulties like in any bureaucracy, but that is the same for the entire world. Nothing is perfect. My sister's reports on the challenges she faces taking care of our parents' medical needs in the United States are horrifying. The medical needs of the elderly make for very complicated decisions.
The 2013 health basket was formulated by the Public Committee on the expansion of the Health Basket chaired by Shaare Zedek Medical Center Prof. Jonathan Halevy.
The 2013 health basket will focus on preventive care: For the first time, over 50,000 8th-grade girls will be inoculated against cervical cancer. Innovative drugs for the treatment of breast and ovarian cancer will be added including Afinitor, Perjeta and Avastin, as well as an innovative drug for treating prostate cancer, Zytiga. The basket will also include nuchal translucency testing and advanced pregnancy tests for various genetic diseases.
Communicated by the Prime Minister's Media Adviser
Obamacare may have solved some problems, but certainly not all.